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Psychological Support Now for Rainbow People
Dtum pridania:: 24.02.2012, Autor: Iniciatva Inakos
In February 2012, civil association Iniciatíva Inakos successfully crowned the Psychological Support for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender people (LGBT) project. Unique activities have been realised and helpful materials developed, available for professionals and general public.

We were aware of the absence of the support services and scientific information for this group of people, but also for their relatives and the general public in Slovakia and decided to change this state of matters, says Ján Benec of Inakos. The activities were aimed at the LGBT community itself, but also at the psychological professionals.

Personal Development Training for LGBT people created a safe environment for LGBT people to openly discuss topics important to their lives, share their experiences and solutions of complicated situations. Based on participants evaluation and regularity of their participation in the training, we know they very much appreciated this form of communication. We would be glad if this pilot group gave a rise for other similar groups in the future, says PhDr. Hana Smitková, PhD., psychologist, facilitating the group. 

Six info-educational brochures were developed within the project, aimed at LGBT people, their families, friends, and also at the general public. The brochures include topics like coming out, information for parents, identity and self-acceptation, homophobia, cohabitation of LGBT couples and more.

A survey was a part of the project as well, resulting in revelation that 27 percentage of LGBT respondents had at some point in the past used psychological services in relation with issues of acceptation of their identity or problems with parents or other people. The important discovery is that in addition to the family and friends, it is psychological counselling where LGBT people look for help. 

A psychologist may also be the first adult person LGBT people come out to, says Hana Smitková. Therefore we believe, it is of the utter importance for them to have the necessary knowledge and information on experiences, life and specific needs of the LGBT clients. 

An information guide has been developed to improve awareness of professionals in this filed, containing incentives and recommendations for psychological counselling of LGBT people. The material we deliver is an overview of the basic topics, theoretical knowledge and stimulus for self-exploration and examination of how up-to-date their knowledge is, says Mgr. Ing. Andrej Kuruc, a psychologist. As nowadays this information is absent on pre-gradual and post-gradual levels, we would like to fill in this gap and lay the foundations for later network of the so called LGBT-friendly psychologists, he adds. 

The brochures and the guide will be distributed next weeks into psychological centres and facilities often visited by LGBT community, free of charge. All publications are also available for free download in PDF format at www.homofobia.sk

The Project has been realised with the financial support of the Slovak Republic Government Office, Embassy of Finland, Norwegian Embassy and Embassy of Switzerland in Slovakia.

Iniciatíva Inakos
Press Release, Feb 24, 2012